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Rogue Elephant

Rogue Elephant

The reason to be autonomous is to stand there,
A cleared instrument, ready to act, to search

The moral realm and actual conditions for what
Needs to be done and to do it: fine, the

Best, if it works out, but if, like a gun, it
Comes in handy to the wrong choice, why then

You see the danger in the effective: better
Then an autonomy that stands and looks about,

Negotiating nothing, the supreme indifferences:
Is anything to be gained where as much is lost:

And if for every action there is an equal and
Opposite reaction has the loss been researched

Equally with the gain: you can see how the
Milling actions of millions could come to a

Buzzard-like glide as from a coincidental,
Warm bottom of water stuck between chilled

Peaks: it is not so easy to say, OK, go on
Out and act: who, doing what, to what or

Whom: just a minute: should the bunker be
Bombed (if it stores gas): should all the

Rattlers die just because they rattle: if I
Hear the young gentleman vomiter roaring down

The hall in the men’s room, should I go and
Inquire of him, reducing him to my care: no

Wonder the great sayers (who say nothing) sit
About in inaccessible states of mind: no

Wonder still wisdom and catatonia appear to
Exchange places occasionally: but if anything

Were easy, our easy choices soon would carry
Away our ignorance with the world-better

Let the mixed-up mix and let the surface shine
With all the possibilities, each in itself.



Poem Rogue Elephant - A R Ammons